WSCC 2020 Catholic Advocacy Updates – November 2020

Updates from the Washington State Catholic Conference

HHS Works to Ensure Access to Spiritual Care During COVID-19 Pandemic

In a statement, USCCB Chair of Religious Liberty, Archbishop Thomas Wenski commended action by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to ensure patients receive spiritual care, even while hospitals are under COVID-19 restrictions.  Previously, complaints were filed against two hospitals that prevented the administration of Baptism, Anointing of the Sick, and Communion due to COVID-19 restrictions.  HHS’s Office for Civil Rights intervened, resulting in changes to the hospitals’ policies. Current policies now ensure patients have access to spiritual care.  Archbishop Wenski noted that, “. . . it is of paramount importance that our government, public health authorities, and health care providers strive to respect the liberty of the faithful to receive the sacraments.”

Archbishop Wilton Gregory Named to the College of Cardinals

On October 25 Archbishop Wilton Gregory of the Archdiocese of Washington, DC was named a Cardinal by Pope Francis.  Archbishop Gregory will be the first African American cardinal from the United States.  USCCB President Archbishop José Gomez lauded the decision in a statement: “As a former president of our national bishops’ conference, Archbishop Gregory displayed generous and principled leadership.”

Justice for Immigrants celebrates 15 Years with a Fall Webinar Series

2020 marks the 15th anniversary of USCCB’s Justice for Immigrants (JFI) campaign.  In celebration JFI has been conducting a fall webinar series.  You are invited to join the final webinar titled “The Big Picture: What Does the Election Mean for Immigration?” on Thursday, November 12.

Feast of the Solemnity of Christ the King and Religious Freedom

November 22 marks the Solemnity of Christ the King.  This feast day was instituted in 1925 by Pope Pius XI with the encyclical Quas primas.  The feast day was born out of resistance to secularization and nationalism.  It was intended to address those who sought to eliminate Christian influence from political life.  As such, the Solemnity of Christ the King is an opportunity to remember the Church’s dedication to religious freedom.  Religious freedom is freedom of worship and respect for freedom of conscience.  For more information about the Solemnity of Christ the King and religious freedom, see the USCCB statement, Our First, Most Cherished Liberty and the topic of religious liberty on the USCCB website.

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